MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,131 this week

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)

 |  Drama, Sport  |  8 October 1962 (USA)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 5,219 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 35 critic

A rebellious youth, sentenced to a boy's reformatory for robbing a bakery, rises through the ranks of the institution through his prowess as a long distance runner. During his solitary runs... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (short story)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $6.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL

10 Best Back-to-School TV Shows

Dust off your varsity jacket and get excited for fall with our list of the 10 best back-to-school TV shows.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 18 Jun 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 05 Jul 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 29 Sep 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 05 Jan 2014
 
a list of 21 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.

User Polls

Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The moving story of a plain young girl who becomes pregnant by a black sailor, befriends a homosexual, and gradually becomes a woman.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Rita Tushingham, Dora Bryan, Robert Stephens
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A rebellious, hard-living factory worker juggles relationships with two women, one of whom is married to another man but pregnant with his child.

Director: Karel Reisz
Stars: Albert Finney, Shirley Anne Field, Rachel Roberts
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A disillusioned, angry university graduate comes to terms with his grudge against middle-class life and values.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Mary Ure
Billy Liar (1963)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A lazy, irresponsible young clerk in provincial Northern England lives in his own fantasy world and makes emotionally immature decisions as he alienates friends and family.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Tom Courtenay, Julie Christie, Wilfred Pickles
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In Northern England in the early 1960s, Frank Machin is mean, tough and ambitious enough to become an immediate star in the rugby league team run by local employer Weaver. Machin lodges ... See full summary »

Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, Alan Badel
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An American boy and a French girl run away from a Swiss school making for Paris to reunite with their parents. The boy's father and the girl's mother join forces, despite cultural differences, to search for their kids.

Director: Gene Kelly
Stars: Gene Kelly, Barbara Laage, Michael Redgrave
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ambitious young accountant schemes to wed a wealthy factory owner's daughter, despite falling in love with a married older woman.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Simone Signoret, Heather Sears
Drama | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Alec Graham is sentenced to death for the murder of his girlfriend Jennie, with whom he spent a weekend at the English country home of the parents of his friend Brian Stanford. Alec's ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Ann Todd, Leo McKern
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Archie Rice, an old-time British music hall performer sinking into final defeat, schemes to stay in show business.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Brenda de Banzie, Roger Livesey
Tom Jones (1963)
Adventure | Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In eighteenth century England, "first cousins" Tom Jones and Master Blifil grew up together in privilege in the western countryside, but could not be more different in nature. Tom, the ... See full summary »

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Albert Finney, Susannah York, George Devine
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A military mission is interrupted when a soldier claims that God had appeared to him in a transcendental vision.

Director: Caspar Wrede
Stars: Tom Courtenay, Mogens Wieth, Ronald Fraser
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A married movie studio executive's life, starts to fall apart when he is intimately stalked by a beautiful woman he claims he does not know.

Directors: Joseph Losey, Alec C. Snowden
Stars: Richard Basehart, Mary Murphy, Constance Cummings
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Avis Bunnage ...
Mrs. Smith
...
...
Joe Robinson ...
Roach
Dervis Ward ...
Detective
Topsy Jane ...
Julia Foster ...
Edit

Storyline

A rebellious youth, sentenced to a boy's reformatory for robbing a bakery, rises through the ranks of the institution through his prowess as a long distance runner. During his solitary runs, reveries of his life and times before his incarceration lead him to re-evaluate his privileged status as the Governor's prize runner. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rebel with a Cause  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Tony Richardson later noted that by not being based in a major studio, he was able to hand-pick his crew and get a much more enthusiastic group of colleagues together while still complying with union regulations. See more »

Goofs

When the boys are doing gardening work one character calls another "you mug" (meaning gullible idiot). This is incorrectly recorded in the subtitles as "you muppet" but the word "muppet" - meaning an idiot - was not in use when the film was made. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Colin Smith: Running was always a big thing in our family, specially running away from the police. It's hard to understand. All I know is that you've got to run, running without knowing why, through fields and woods. And the winning post's no end, even though the barmy crowds might be cheering themselves daft. That's what the loneliness of a long distance runner feels like.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Free Cinema (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Under the Double Eagle
(uncredited)
Music by Josef Wagner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Angry young man refuses to sell out
28 February 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Tom Courtenay is brilliant in this film. In this role, he is smart and more than a match for the police and his mother's insolent boyfriend. And he is not lacking in social skills. The music is brooding and jazzy, depending on the mood. The black/white film captures the prevailing mood particularly the rain, mud and fog. At another time, we see Colin and his girlfriend walking on the beach. A touching scene, we get the feeling that this was his real moment of happiness.

In this movie, directed by Tony Richardson, Tom Courtenay plays Colin Smith, the angry young man role – a staple of British cinema in the 1960's. Tom Courtenay went on to make a number of first-rate films and receive a number of awards, not least of which was a knighthood from the Queen.

The film deals with a young man from the wrong side of the tracks who clearly feels the pain and resentment that his life brings. The father dies leaving behind a young family, probably as a result of working conditions, harassment, burnout, and the other ailments of the industrial economy that sapped the lifeblood of working class males. Colin, the eldest son of the family is in a reform school by day where the boys are treated with about as much respect (lack of respect) as their fathers received in society.

Upon her husband's death, his mother collects 500 pounds from the firm where he was employed and her face shows the hurt and bitterness; it took his death to give them some material reward. She proceeds to spend the money on television, clothing, and a new bed (to be shared with the new boyfriend). Material possessions and pleasures are the carrots that are dangled in front of working class people. The eldest son Colin, Tom Courtenay, shows his contempt by burning the pound note his mother gives to him. He is so filled with anger and despair that nothing motivates him anymore. In one touching moment in the film, the young man knowing his father is about to die, goes into his room and places the blankets over him. It is almost as if he understands what his life was like and was now about to be set free. Just my take on this short scene.

As for the boy, the preferential treatment he starts to receive at school is offered in exchange for his expected victory in an athletic competition, long-distance running. A lean, fit youth, he excels in track and other sports. This catches the attention of the headmaster Ruxton Towers, performed by Michael Redgrave, who desires nothing more than to impress the Board of Governors with the school's prowess, particularly against a rival school in an upcoming event. Michael Redgrave is superb in a less than attractive role as the arrogant headmaster who feels his main responsibility is to keep the boys in check through humiliation and authoritarian rule, except when it is in his interest to use them for his own purposes.

The atmosphere is bleak and it is an irony to watch the boys sing the hymn Jerusalem at the tops of their voices with images of dark Satanic mills as Christians take up the fight to build a new Jerusalem in England. This song of social democracy gives some indication of the political stripes of the directors who made these angry young man movies. One thinks that their view of the working class, while sincere, had more than a little dislike for their lifestyle. Perhaps they pitied them.

The black and white photography is as stark as the movie itself. Avis Bunnage is Mrs. Smith and William Ash Hammond, the terminally ill father. James Bolam, who has a filmography that goes back to the early 60's is Colin's best friend. James Fox is the runner for the other school in the final challenge that pits him against our anti-hero Colin. Alec McCowen plays the role of a colleague of Ruxton Towers. A young John Thaw had a role in this movie as one of the reform school lads. He later went on to be Inspector Morse in the Morse television series. Julia Foster is the girlfriend, who later acted in Alfie.

A great cast for a film from the archives of Britain's best.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Best British Film Ever? rick_7
DVD velvetunderground1982
Where can i find this movie?? jjoechump
Quote stevenvh
Whats that tune? kristienadana
A question (elixir) ccscd212

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?